And the Academy Award (hopefully) goes to…


After a long, drawn out, tiring and uncertain couple of months, it is finally the culmination of what has had everyone in the world glued to their screens: awards season (obviously). 

As Waterloo students, we know that lectures, discussion boards, assignments, labs and quizzes may have kept you glued to your screen for the past few months. Thus, you may not be caught up with the latest and greatest Hollywood has to offer. No stress! We’ve got you covered with our *official* prediction list for the big categories that will have everyone talking.


Best Picture: “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)

Verdict: “Nomadland” has been notorious and undisputed this awards season. “Nomadland” took home the Golden Globe for “Best Picture – Drama” on Feb. 28, which, in the past, has been stellar foreshadowing for Oscar winners. However, the last movie that had ‘land’ in the title *cough* “La La Land” *cough* didn’t quite stick the landing.

Best Director: Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)

Verdict: The “Best Picture” is usually directed by the “Best Director,” which is why we’re tipping our hats off to the mind behind “Nomadland,” Chloé Zhao. Zhao has already won big at the Golden Globes and the PGA Awards, so to count on her winning the Oscar is a safe bet.

Best Actor: Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)

Verdict: The world came to a shocking stop last summer when it was announced that the late Chadwick Boseman had lost his battle with pancreatic cancer—a battle that was only known about by Boseman’s inner circle. Now, Boseman’s true talent is clear. He portrayed several roles, giving life to his films, while keeping his fight with cancer secret and hiding any signs of pain. No one else in this category can come close.

Best Actress: Frances McDormand, “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)

Verdict: One movie that’s an almost sure bet to win big on Oscar night is “Nomadland,” thanks to stellar critical reviews and the film’s success over this year’s awards season. Frances McDormand is a seasoned Oscar vet, with four “Best Actress” nominations and two wins, one in 1996 for “Fargo” and one in 2018 for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” As the lead performer in “Nomadland,” McDormand’s execution of her role adds to the movie’s success and notoriety. 

Best Supporting Actor: Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of Chicago 7” (Netflix)

Verdict: For “The Trial of Chicago 7” not to pick up an award this year would be a crime to be put on trial of its own. Sacha Baron Cohen’s performance is the perfect place for recognition. Cohen had a breakout year with the role of Abbie Hoffman in this historical flick, as well as with his role as Borat in “Borat Subsequent Movie Film,” a reprise of the role that earned him an Oscar nomination back in 2006. I think this time around, Cohen will take home the gold.

Best Supporting Actress: Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (Amazon Studios)

Verdict: First-time nominee Maria Bakalova has the highest chances of winning because she is the only actress in this category who was nominated by every other televised award show. It is important to note that she did lose out on the Golden Globes to Rosamund Pike, where she was nominated for “Best Actress,” however the academy placed her in the “Supporting Actress” category, so this narrative isn’t hard to predict.

Best Animated Feature: “Soul” (Pixar)

Verdict: When it comes to the “Best Animated Feature” award, choosing a Disney/Pixar film is a safe bet. Soul is a better pool pick than Onward not only because it has better reviews and more awareness, but also because director Pete Docter is an Oscar veteran with eight nominations and two wins. Those winning films? 2009’s “Up” and 2015’s “Inside Out.” 


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